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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

And These Are Some of His Best Volleys

December 29, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Tennis magazine, identifying Thomas Muster as king of the baseliners, recalls some of his best one-liners:

On why he wore a back brace: "Other than some problems with my back, I also didn't want to let the crowd see my belly."

On his plan for mastering grass courts: "I'm going to play on it, I'm going to sleep on it, I'm going to eat it. But I'm not going to smoke it."

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Trivia time: What were the participating schools in the only Rose Bowl game not played in Pasadena?

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Elway the Great? An AFC team hasn't won the Super Bowl since 1984, when the Raiders beat the Redskins. Denver Bronco tight end Shannon Sharpe was asked if any AFC team will ever get any respect until it beats an NFC team.

"No. And they shouldn't," he said. "You're only great if you win something. Alexander wasn't Alexander the Mediocre or Alexander the Average. He was Alexander the Great, and there's a reason for it."

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Embarrassing: Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls' Robert Parish getting 12 points in a recent game against the New Jersey Nets and beating 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley down the court:

"If I was a young player and a 43-year-old man was running past me, I'd trip him or something. I wouldn't let him show me up."

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Optimistic: Carolina linebacker Sam Mills on the Panthers: "This team can make the Super Bowl. This team can win the Super Bowl."

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Sound bites: Center Keith Primeau has become a fan favorite in Hartford, where Whaler fans regularly chant his name. Asked if Detroit fans ever chanted his name when he played for the Red Wings, Primeau said jokingly, "Not all by itself."

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A good deal better: Did Dallas Coach Jim Cleamons like the trade that sent Jason Kidd to the Phoenix Suns for A.C. Green, Michael Finley and Sam Cassell?

"I was asking for one guy to step up to the table and buy into what I'm trying to do," he said. "Now, lo and behold, I get three guys."

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Trivia answer: Oregon State defeated Duke, 20-16, on Jan. 1, 1942, in Durham, N.C. The game was moved there because of World War II restrictions on large crowds on the West Coast after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

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And finally: Ira Miller in the San Francisco Chronicle: "He is self-absorbed and wildly egotistical. When he left the 49ers 21 months ago, teammates placed a sign in his locker that read, 'Me, Myself and I,' and one person high in the organization called him 'the most selfish player' the 49ers ever had.

"Say what you want about Ricky Watters, the 49ers' offense hasn't been the same since he left, and he still has not been adequately replaced."

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